Cross the Valley is Deerfield’s campaign to expand and sustain cultural competency among all community members – a key phase of the Strategic Plan for Inclusion. Cultural competency skills allow us to communicate across differences even when it seems like we’re mountains apart. With new students and employees joining Deerfield each year, the need for building and practicing cultural competency skills remains a constant in our community. When we cross the valley, the entire community benefits.
A fully inclusive and supportive school culture that embraces and honors the individuality of each student requires systematic effort across every dimension of school life. This is the foundation upon which our Strategic Plan for Inclusion was built, and our Vision Statement for Inclusion is as follows: “We are a community that values and affirms the distinct identities and differences of each person. Diverse perspectives fuel creative and innovative thinking, build empathy and consideration, and provide varied skills and experiences from which the entire community benefits. As a community, we consider cultural competency essential to the pursuit of excellence and success, both on campus and beyond.”
Marjorie Young is our Director of Inclusion and Community Life. Marjorie previously worked at Princeton University, where she was the Associate Director of the Pace Center for Civic Engagement and the Director of Community House for 16 years. Marjorie is a strong advocate for global humanitarian work and has traveled to Morocco, Guatemala, and Haiti to participate in efforts addressing poverty, medical access, and improving education. She works to ensure that Deerfield Academy encourages acceptance and understanding of differences pertaining to race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, geographical origin, religion, and sexual orientation at all institutional levels. Through trainings, lectures, special programs, and short and long-term strategic goals, she collaborates with all departments to support a campus-wide conversation and effort leading to the development of institutional priorities for sustaining an inclusive school community.
The Deerfield Academy Strategic Plan for Inclusion may be viewed here.
Our student handbook and policies make clear that Deerfield does not tolerate hateful speech. In furtherance of our expectations for respectful and responsible behavior on and off campus, we are in the process of conducting a comprehensive review of our policies to ensure that they are well understood and the consequences are clear across our campus community. That review will continue over the course of the fall and include input from students, parents, and faculty.